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Bank Account requirements

Billdoesbelize saw your video on requirements for a Bank account.

I can get two bank references with no issues.

But where I have been living for the past five years,

the utility is included in the rent .... any ideas how I can navigate

around that requirement?  What other options do I have.  Thanks.

Mr. Aboki :

Billdoesbelize saw your video on requirements for a Bank account.

I can get two bank references with no issues.

But where I have been living for the past five years,

the utility is included in the rent .... any ideas how I can navigate

around that requirement?  What other options do I have.  Thanks.

I would suggest getting a letter from your landlord that explains that and provides a good reference and indicates that rent (utilities included) were paid by you on time.  The other option may be to wait a month or two after arriving in Belize and then provide a paid local utility bill.

Opening a bank account is not as easy anymore as it was three years ago when we went through the experience. Non residents are having a harder time with all processes and having to jump through more hoops to accomplish things. There are ways around having a bank account (ATM Machines) as well, it is not that big an inconvenience as many day to day transactions will be cash anyway.

I hope this helps.

Bill thanks for the financial insights.
Greatly appreciate the options provided.
:)

Hi,

We have been struggling to open a bank account, in fact gave up. None of the bank can and will open a bank account unless one has PR/ Work permit.

The only account they can open is USD international account and it solves no purpose.

Hello. You can open a local bank account without having a work permit,  you would need two bankers reference, or one banker and one character reference and a foreign utility bill. A valid passport.
The information will be taken by the bank and the sent to the central bank for clearance. then you will be informed if the account was granted.

The theory of the requirements are fine and haven't changed in the last 5 years. American Banks no longer automatically give out bankers references, instead will give a history of account use and the contact information of a branch manager for the Belize bank to follow up on.  If your Belize bank does not follow up quickly the requirement for references may not be met.
in practice the Central bank does not have to give a reason for refusing  to open an account, in the last year I have heard of several folks being refused and then getting the international accounts instead. One local Belize banker told me they are shy of opening accounts for 'Foreigners'  if or when there is no concrete proof the account holder is going to stay in Belize for more than a year or so. Also once an expat has an account it is limited as to what it can be used for. Without that work permit or Residency you will not have access to bank loans or mortgage facilities, A bank  ATM  card may only work in your own Banks machines, Debit cards may or may not be available to you, again only usable within Belize.

LeroneB :

Hello. You can open a local bank account without having a work permit,  you would need two bankers reference, or one banker and one character reference and a foreign utility bill. A valid passport.
The information will be taken by the bank and the sent to the central bank for clearance. then you will be informed if the account was granted.

That is apparently how it used to be.
Unless things have recently changed, last year central bank began denying domestic bank accounts to non resident Americans.

Even though I bought a house here in Placencia, central bank turned down my application for a domestic Atlantic account because I am not a resident. As I have documented previously in this forum I used the same documents to open an Atlantic International account.

ska8er47499 :

Hi,

We have been struggling to open a bank account, in fact gave up. None of the bank can and will open a bank account unless one has PR/ Work permit.

The only account they can open is USD international account and it solves no purpose.

Our international account has been used primarily for getting money into Belize, and paying Belizeans for work done, like our road construction. Although some of the specifics have changed over the last couple of years, in terms of paying individuals from the account, it is still a necessity for us. Aside from that, we use cash for everything, via ATM.

Has a Canadian on the forum opened an international bank account in Belize ? If so  have you had your Canadian pension funds deposited directly to that account? Is this possible?
Thank you to everyone for this forum..

Although I am American not Canadian, I offer this advice.
Unless you intend to join the QRP program, don't have your pension deposited into a Belizean bank account.  The fees for doing anything/everything are ridiculous. I found it better to use my US bank cards (with no international fees) at local ATMs and pay the small ATM fee to obtain cash.

After a long struggle (documented elsewhere in this forum)  I did manage to open an account with Atlantic International. They are probably the best Belize bank, but that's not saying much...

The problems with a Belize International account, is no checks, and no debit card.
But at least you can withdraw funds in US or Belizean dollars.
With a domestic account, one can only withdraw Belizean dollars.

If I had it to do over again, I would likely not bother opening any bank account.
I did easily open a 30 day same as cash account at a large construction supply company that has been very useful while repairing/upgrading the home I bought 2 years ago.

Hope this is useful.

Thank you Will the Old.. that is very helpful.

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